Terps

Previewing Maryland football's 2019 schedule

Previewing Maryland football's 2019 schedule

The on-field results of Maryland football's 2018 season were overshadowed by a ton of off-field issues.

On the field, though, it was, in many ways, similar to the 2017 season. The Terps opened with an inspiring win against No. 23 Texas at FedEx Field, faltered against a Group of 5 opponent, handled lesser opponents, struggled against better ones and lost their starting quarterback to injury. After the Texas game, the most exciting moment of Maryland's season was actually an overtime loss at home to then-No. 10 Ohio State.

In the Big Ten East, there will never be a shortage of high-quality opponents to play. Luckily for the Terps, the out-of-conference slate of games looks a bit easier this year than each of the last two. Howard replaces Towson and Syracuse replaces Texas as Maryland's Power 5 opponent. The Terps do travel to Temple this year after the Owls dominated in College Park, but will face a different head coach in Rod Carey.

Maryland's crossover matchups with the Big Ten West include trips to Purdue and Minnesota, while Nebraska comes to College Park in late November. The Terps avoid the hardest part of their shedule until the last month of the season, when meetings with Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State loom.

Here's Maryland football's 2019 schedule in its entirety:

Week 1, August 31, noon: Howard Bison

Week 2, September 7, noon: Syracuse Orange

Week 3, September 14, noon: at Temple Owls

Week 4, BYE

Week 5, September 27 (FRI), 8:00 p.m.: Penn State

Week 6, October 5, TBD: at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Week 7, October 12, noon: Purdue Boilermakers

Week 8, October 19, TBD: Indiana Hoosiers

Week 9, October 26, TBD: at Minnesota Golden Gophers

Week 10, November 2, noon: Michigan Wolverines

Week 11, November 9, TBD: at Ohio State Buckeyes

Week 12, BYE

Week 13, November 23, TBD: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Week 14, November 30, TBD: at Michigan State

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University of Maryland reverses course, fires D.J. Durkin as head football coach

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USA Today Sports Images

University of Maryland reverses course, fires D.J. Durkin as head football coach

The University of Maryland is changing its course. A day after the university decided to reinstate D.J. Durkin as head football coach, the Board of Regents is reversing course, firing Durkin on Wednesday night, a university spokeswoman told ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

The backlash to Maryland's decision was swift and loud. Whether or not that led the University to change its decision is not yet known. But what is known is that university president Wallace Loh was in favor of firing Durkin, with the board of trustees forcing his hand to keep Durkin. What we also know is that several Maryland football players walked out of the Tuesday press conference out of anger and disgust.

Even Maryland governor Larry Hogan urged the university to reconsider its decision to retain Durkin as head football coach on Tuesday afternoon. The third-year coach was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 11 following the June death of sophomore offensive tackle Jordan McNair.

Hogan was direct in suggesting Maryland to strongly reconsider its choice. "University leadership still faces the considerable challenge of restoring the trust of students, families, and faculty, and proving that there is and will be accountability for any actions that adversely impact student welfare and the standing of our flagship university," Hogan said, via the Associated Press.

"The addition of an oversight board seems to be a positive step, but many will understandably question whether enough has been done to address the serious concerns that exist among many in the College Park community -- I am one of them."

Late Wednesday night, Loh issued a letter to the University of Maryland community.

Dear University of Maryland community,

I am writing to inform you of actions I am taking that are in the best interest of the University of Maryland.
Yesterday, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents announced numerous recommendations, including employment decisions about specific personnel on our campus. I accepted the Board’s recommendations. At the same time, I announced my retirement as president in June 2019.
Since returning to campus after yesterday’s press conference, I have met with the leadership of the Student Government Association speaking on behalf of numerous student organizations; the Senate Executive Committee; Deans; department chairs; and campus leadership. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders expressed serious concerns about Coach DJ Durkin returning to the campus.

The chair of the Board of Regents has publicly acknowledged that I had previously raised serious concerns about Coach Durkin’s return. This is not at all a reflection of my opinion of Coach Durkin as a person. However, a departure is in the best interest of the University, and this afternoon Coach Durkin was informed that the University will part ways.

This is a difficult decision, but it is the right one for our entire University. I will devote the remaining months of my presidency to advancing the needed reforms in our Athletic Department that prioritize the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.
Sincerely,

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland

The university is not firing Durkin with cause, according to Rick Maese. Instead, the school will buy out Durkin of his remaining contract. 

Matt Canada, who has led the Terps to a 5-3 record in Durkin's absence, will remain head coach on an interim basis.

The Terrapins host Michigan State on Saturday at noon.

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D.J. Durkin to remain as Maryland football coach; university makes no major immediate changes

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USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES

D.J. Durkin to remain as Maryland football coach; university makes no major immediate changes

The University of Maryland's Board of Regents is not making any major administrative changes to its athletic program in the wake of Jordan McNair's death, the university announced on Tuesday.

University president Wallace Loh, athletic director Damon Evans and head football coach D.J. Durkin will remain at the university. Loh is set to retire in June. 

Furthermore, Durkin is reportedly expected to return to the sidelines for the Terrapins when they host Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Noon.

The decision comes as a result of the university's findings and a public report into the culture of the Terrapins football program following the June 13 death of the sophomore offensive tackle.

McNair's died as the result of a heat stroke that occurred during a May 29 workout. Collapsing on the field due to exhaustion, the 19-year-old suffered a seizure and the authorities were not contacted for nearly an hour. He appeared in just one game during his freshman season with the Terps following a standout high school career at The McDonough School. McNair chose Maryland over the likes of Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers.

On Aug. 11, the university accepted the forced resignation from Terrapins strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, and formally placed Durkin on administrative leave. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada was named interim head coach and has since guided the Terps to a 5-3 record through the first nine weeks of the 2018 season.

"I am profoundly disturbed by the media reports yesterday about verbally abusive and intimidating conduct by Maryland football coaches and staff towards our student-athletes on the team.," Loh said at the time of the university's decision to place Durkin on administrative leave.

Loh, according to a Washington Post report, was against the idea of retaining Durkin as the Terrapins' head coach. 

"It was made clear that if he [Loh] want to remain in his position, he had no option," a source told The Post. "He ultimately felt it would've been tremendously disruptive to the entire campus if he was to be terminated simply because he wouldn't put the coach back on the field ..."

Durkin was hired by the university on Dec. 2, 2015 following his lone season as defensive coordinator for the Michigan Wolverines.

The Terrapins are 10-15 in games with Durkin as head coach.

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